Few people would consider themselves "green" in
the 1940's. They were just having a life. Disposable diapers had
not been invented, paper towels not nearly as common as they are today.
Life created a lot less land fill back then. So you think it isn't possible
to go back to cloth diapers, even with a washer and dryer, even with a diaper
service. Ok forget about that. There are still a few simple things
you can work into your life. Try a few than try some more. Don't
feel pressured to go green all at once. It's like becoming a vegan, or a
raw foodie. Taking it in steps is a more reasonable approach than trying
to over turn your life and your family's life all at once. Here are some
super simple things you can try:
In the kitchen:
Cloth napkins in lieu of a paper ones. Wash them once
a week with the rest of your laundry, or as needed. Pick out some cool
ones to make it more fun.
A real towel in lieu of paper towels. Wring it out and use it again and again. You can still retain the paper towels for an occasional job, until you realize one day that haven't used a paper towel in a long long time.
Make your own ice cubes in a tray. It uses less energy than the ice cube maker.
Vinegar as a cleaning solution. It's natural, and can't harm your stove top, counter top or floor.
Real plates in lieu of paper plates, real silver ware in lieu of plastic.
Tap water in lieu of bottled water.
Re-using the bags from the market as trash bags instead of buying trash bags.
Coasters and place mats made of natural materials
In the bathroom:
Use biodegradable soaps free of perfumes
turn off the shower while you suds up to save on water
collect water in buckets during your shower to water plants in your garden
turn off the water while you brush your teeth
Buy a good toothbrush with replaceable heads in lieu of cheap disposable ones
Buy towels made from bamboo
Shower with your honey!
Have a hairstyle that does not require a blow dryer or aerosol hairspray
Hang your clothes up to dry in lieu of the using a dryer, string rope across the
bathtub if you can't have an outdoor line
In the bed room:
Use sheets made of bamboo, the fastest growing grass
Turn off the electric blanket, use a down comforter
Use a candle or an oil lamp in lieu of electric lights
Read books and magazines instead of having a TV in the bedroom
Take walks in nature, you will appreciate it more and more, plus its very inexpensive stimuli
Take up jogging
learn chess or other board games to enjoy with your kids
Do useful crafts such as cooking from scratch, knitting, sewing, canning foods
Grow a garden of vegetables
Do creative crafts for fun: designing, drawing, clay
Ride a bike to work, bring clothes to change into
Take the bus
Walk, move closer to your work so this is possible
Consider a motorcycle, if it's safe
The Living Room
Consider getting rid of TV, I know, I know it's radical. And it takes up too much of your time, without giving much back in return. You can get almost anything these days from dvd clubs. Do that stop gap until you learn how to free yourself from the back ground noise and influence of this media. Think of all the things you could do if you weren't watching so much tv: yoga, baking bread, writing, reading, learning a new skill, interacting with your family, taking a class. The universe has so much more to offer.
Buy rugs made from recycled materials.
Buy artwork from local artists in lieu of cheap prints.
Support your local economy as much as possible. If you enable people nearby you to keep their individual stores open the overall need for gasoline will be less. Your drive time will be less, your carbon footprint will be less. Often the amount you save by going to a bigger chain is offset by the cost of your time and the cost of your gas and the wear and tear on your vehicle.
If you have an older home upgrade to double pane windows to retain heat. Consider a pellet stove in lieu of propane. Insulate as well as possible, even underneath your house if you can.
Go solar. You can still get a tax credit for installing solar panels.
Buy a dog as your security system. Polices and burglars alike agree that an aggressive looking dog is a deterrent. Dogs do double duty as smoke detectors as well. Kids like them, and you will get some free exercise without joining a gym, if you get a dog that needs to be walked on a daily basis. Do your dog a favor and get her or him at the pound. Put puppy mills out of business.